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Vancouver Police launch safe place program for LGBTQ feeling threatened

Click to play video: '‘Safe Place’ campaign designed to protect Vancouver’s LGBTQ community'
‘Safe Place’ campaign designed to protect Vancouver’s LGBTQ community
WATCH: A new program launched today by Vancouver Police will give members of the LGBTQ community safe places to go if they're being harassed. Jennifer Palma explains how the campaign works – Jul 28, 2016

In the midst of Pride Week, the Vancouver Police Department has announced a new initiative to provide ‘safe places’ for members of the LGBTQ community who feel their safety is threatened.

The program will distribute rainbow-coloured decals to any business, school, or location which volunteers to act as a safe refuge for all citizens who are victims of anti-LGBTQ crimes or incidences.

Once inside the premises, operators at the location are meant to assist the person in calling the police and allow them to wait until officers arrive.

Those who volunteer to offer a safe place sign a pledge that they will “instruct [their] organization’s employees to assist the victims and/or witnesses to anti-LGBTQ crimes.”

Businesses can visit vpdsafeplace.com to sign up for the program, fill out a pledge form, and order decals.

The VPD says a number of organizations and businesses on Denman Street are already displaying decals, including Kimprints, Denman Cleantec, Dover Arms Pub, Acacia Bistro & Import, Pompadours Hair Salon, West End Liquor Store, Shoppers Drug Mart, Burger King, D’oro Gelato & Cafe, and Marble Slab Creamery.

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Police hope that the program will increase reporting of LGBTQ hate crimes, but warn that an increase in media reports doesn’t necessarily mean there is an increase in incidents.

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